Illinois Budget 1.18.10

Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at Please check in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.
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Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343,


Front page gallery for Jan. 18

David Arkin: Conversation in story comments brings closure to 1914 tragedy


Debate swirls over health of eagle population

Eagle-watching can be a persnickety pursuit. Most months of the year, a glimpse of one fierce white dome is enough. But in January and February, it has become commonplace to spot eagles by the dozen when conditions are ripe. Still up for debate, however, is just how many bald eagles are out there and whether the bird should have been taken off the endangered species list. By Terry Bibo of the Peoria Journal Star.


State Briefs. News from around the state.

This week at the statehouse:
For Tuesday:

No daily stories planned.
For the weekend:
TREASURER RACE: A preview of the primary election for state treasurer. By John Guidroz of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted Thursday for use in weekend editions.
COMPTROLLER RACE: A preview of the primary election for state comptroller. By Matt Hopf of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted Thursday for use in weekend editions.

Young adults’ political, fiscal views change as result of recession

ROCKFORD – The effects of the Great Recession will be felt for many years in the country’s economy, but even longer-lasting effects will be left in the psyches of the young adults who are living through it. A new research paper shows those in their impressionable years, from ages 18 to 25, have their political and economic views permanently altered by living through a recession. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.

Experts: Time to think outside the border

ROCKFORD – Like most manufacturers, Advanced Engineered Systems had a bad 2009. Sales at the South Beloit company were down 20 percent to 30 percent for the year. But it would have been worse if the maker of custom automation equipment hadn’t spent the previous few years building a customer base in other countries. Exports, which make up nearly 40 percent of company sales, were the only area in which it saw growth last year. By Thomas V. Bona of the Rockford Register Star. To localize: Check with local companies to see if they're putting more of an emphasis on exporting.


Plan now, avoid fights later when dealing with parents' possessions

It’s inevitable. As a person goes through life, he or she will accumulate personal treasures. Some of have real monetary value. Others are invaluable because of the sentiment attached to them. What happens to those treasures after a person dies or becomes too infirm to live alone can be tricky. Here's how to deal with all of your parents' belongings. By Ann Piercall of the State Journal-Register.

Hillside retreat is dream home with magnificent view

Randy and Linda Huber had the land - five acres, most of it hill, in between Kickapoo and Brimfield - and a vague idea of what they'd like, but it wasn't until they lucked into meeting builder Bill Fauser that their dream burst forth as a modern interpretation of a log cabin. By Jennifer Davis of the Peoria Journal Star.

Centenarian touts benefits of hard work, few worries as 106th nears

ROCKFORD – Conrad Johnson got a lot of attention from the ladies Sunday. Then again, a birthday party for someone who's turning 106 doesn't happen every day. And his birthday isn’t until Tuesday, so he’s looking forward to some more. By Betsy Lopez Fritscher of the Rockford Register Star.

Surgery helps ease pain from fractured vertebra

ROCKFORD – An MRI revealed that Tom Krause had suffered a compression fracture of his spine in a fall, making him a candidate for a surgery called balloon kyphoplasty to relieve his pain by returning the fractured vertebra to its normal height and shape. Now, Krause is running up to nine miles with little back pain. By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.


BRITT: Toon on Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and Haiti.

Jeff Vrabel: Indiana is finger-licking good

I can't be sure how much time my reader(s) spend in Indiana — except my mom, who I'm pretty positive spends most of her time there, and if not I need to get some birthday cards forwarded at once — but here's one thing about Indiana: It is not especially difficult, when in Indiana, to be aware of your nearby fast-food options.

Editorial: Time to recognize Betty Friedan in her hometown

Betty Friedan helped change America, but don't go looking around her hometown for any kind of acknowledgement of it. Four years after her death and nearly a half-century since she published her landmark book, "The Feminine Mystique," Peorians - citizens of a place she praised for its "solidarity," "rootedness" and "can-do spirit" - have yet to create any kind of tangible reminder that she grew up here. As we've written before, that should change. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.


BOILING OVER: After Purdue won its first 14 games this season, coach Matt Painter is upset with his team's effort in a three-game losing streak heading into a game at Illinois on Tuesday. Stands as game preview. With preview capsule. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.

WITH THE ILLINI: Multi-sport notebook led with Illinois basketball. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.